Accessibility links

Art & Design (Fine Art) AS & A Level at Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College

Course description

The art and design course will develop the student’s traditional drawing and painting skills alongside contemporary Fine Art practice. It includes establishing an historical and critical framework as well as extensive practical experimentation. Applicants should note there will be an expectation of some contribution towards the cost of materials used during the course.

Course content

UNIT 3 The Personal Investigation A personal investigation in which candidates develop work in response to an idea, issue, concept or theme of their choosing. The Unit is taught in a similar way to the AS units although the focus is on individuals setting their own goals and further specialising in materials and processes. As well as using sketch pads and making large scale studies the candidates complete a written study of 3000 words. Assessment will form 60% of the final grade.

UNIT 4 Externally-Set Assignment An externally-set assignment. The question paper for Fine Art contains eight exciting starting points, candidates choose one. There is a period of time for the investigation followed by a 15 hour examination period in which the candidates produce their final outcomes. This unit tests the candidate’s ability to research the suggested areas and develop highly original studies. The fixed time for the final exam is long enough for work to be completed in a wide range of Fine Art processes to be chosen by the candidates. Assessment will form 40% of the final grade.

Entry requirements

A student must have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and Maths. English at least a grade C and Maths a grade B.


During this term students develop a coursework portfolio in response to a brief, demonstrating the skills they have developed during the initial phase of the course. The portfolio is taught through a mixture of practical tasks, group discussions, presentations and art history seminars. Developing skills and ideas through sketch pads is the foundation for larger studies and experiments in the wide variety of media available to contemporary Fine Artists. These include large scale painting, photography, video and installation.

During the spring and the first part of summer term students will work through several assignments, each exploring an art theme or genre. This will enable them to refine their drawing and painting skills and develop further Fine Art techniques. At this point students will begin to specialise in the media they have become most interested in. They will continue to learn about the role of key artists and movements in preparation for the assessed Units of work for the A Level submission.

Future opportunities

A Level Art and Design remains the key building block qualification for degree level study in an extremely wide range of creative visual communication degree courses. Past students have gone on to study Fine Art, Graphic Design, Textiles, Three Dimensional Design, Architecture, Theatre Design, Jewellery Design, Photography and Computer Games Design.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College directly.

Last updated date: 08 December 2016
Provider logo

Key information